Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My Happy Place and Bog Hop Day 5

It's Day FIVE of the 
12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

I am getting so many ideas for Christmas projects, that it's a good thing this hop is taking place in July. I might actually get some of them done in time for the December Christmas.  

Thanks go out to Sarah - Confessions of a Fabric Addict - who has organized this hop. She's keeping everything running smoothly and enticing us with "Christmas Goodies" each day too.

Be sure to leave a comment on each blog you visit because there are some amazing prizes to win. 

On top of everything else, Sarah is offering a quilt along. She posts steps each day and by the end of the hop, you'll have completed the top that measures 60" x 60". WooHoo!

I decided to use patriotic fabrics instead of Christmas fabrics. (That decision was made because I had a really big stack of those fabrics out and it just seemed easier to pull some from that, instead of putting them away.) I have all my panels sewn and here's how they look. I think I'm going to like this!


Here are today's Christmas in July Blog Hop participants:

Tuesday, July 18th

Click HERE for the entire list of participants. 

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I'm excited to be working with a wonderful Studio E collection - My Happy Place. 

I'm loving this fabric and spent some time today fussy cutting a bunch of small squares.



I cut some others and even made a few half square triangles using some Peppered Cottons. I got so excited to play that before I had everything cut, I started to put a block together. This is going to look even better when I have all the fabric cut.  ๐Ÿ˜Š


Stay tuned for more pictures. Even though I'm not going to be home until quite late, tomorrow should see a few more blocks made. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Blog Hop Day 4 and Design Wall Monday

It's Day FOUR of the 
12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

Thanks to Sarah - Confessions of a Fabric Addict - for organizing this hop. It's fun to see all the posts and get lots of holiday ideas. I posted yesterday and am loving all the comments I received. I'll spending some quality time with my computer, answering all those comments. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I'm also participating in the Christmas Quilt Along that Sarah is hosting and I have all four of my strip sets sewn. WooHoo!

It's not too late; you can join too!
If you sew for a few hours each day of the hop, you'll end up with an awesome quilt that measure 60" x 60".

Click HERE to get started.
Then, just check Sarah's post each day to get the next step. 
What a deal!

I decided to go with patriotic fabrics instead of Christmas, and I'm loving how it looks. The gold strip in the middle will also be the very center of my quilt, as well as the binding, I think.


Be sure to leave comments with every stop you make along the hop because there are a bunch of prizes! 

Free Spirit Fabrics
has donated THIRTEEN prizes to give away.  

There are six design rolls
six layer cakes
and one fat quarter bundle of
Tula Pink's new holiday line,
Holiday Homies!

Check out Sarah's post HERE for information on how the prizes will be awarded

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In case you missed a day or two of the hop,
here's a complete list of the participants.

Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th
Everyone Deserves a Quilt - You are HERE!

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd

Sunday, July 23rd

Monday, July 24th

Tuesday, July 25th

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Check out other quilt eye candy at 

Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
and
Beth's Monday Making

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Christmas in July - My Turn

Even though it's hot outside, we're celebrating 
Christmas in July!

12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

Thanks to Sarah - Confessions of a Fabric Addict - for organizing this hop. It's fun to see all the posts and get lots of holiday ideas.

And, in case you haven't seen it already, Sarah is hosting a
Christmas Quilt Along. 
Sew for a few hours each day of the hop, and you'll end up with an awesome quilt that measure 60" x 60".
What a deal!   
Sarah, you are awesome!

And, be sure to leave comments with every stop you make along the hop because there are a bunch of prizes! 

Free Spirit Fabrics
has donated THIRTEEN prizes to give away.  

There are six design rolls
six layer cakes
and one fat quarter bundle of
Tula Pink's new holiday line,
Holiday Homies!

Check out Sarah's post HERE for information on how the prizes will be awarded

*******************************

In case you missed a day or two of the hop,
here's a complete list of the participants.

Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th
Everyone Deserves a Quilt - You are HERE!

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd

Sunday, July 23rd

Monday, July 24th

Tuesday, July 25th

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I enjoy making tree skirts and table toppers, and like to give them as wedding gifts. When I do that, I try very hard to make the skirt/topper reflect the couple and their style. This year, I've made a tree skirt for a couple who live in a log cabin that they built themselves. (It was gifted last week, and they loved it. Yay!)

I did not use traditional Christmas fabrics, but rather some "woodsy" looking fabric. I like how it turned out and think it fits the log cabin concept pretty well.

Although I like the already-gifted tree skirt, I made another one in more traditional colors and fabrics too. 


I used this same pattern and adapted it for one of my Desire to Inspire projects last July. (I fussy cut the truck fabric!)


This is a very simple tree skirt/table topper, and since you have a few options regarding the shape, it's easy to make more than one and have them each look different.

This is a long, picture-heavy post.
Sorry, but I just don't think I have it in me to write up a tutorial that is short. I've been told that I write blog posts, just like I talk. I'm just going to smile about that comment because I know it's true.  ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Project Statistics
Finished Size - approximately 40" x 40"

Seams to Sew - 27 
(a fun fact to show you how quickly this comes together)

Fabric Requirements

     Background Fabric (cream in sample) - 1 yard
    
     Star Fabric # 1 (floral in sample) - 2/3 yard
    
     Star Fabric #2 (green in sample) - 2/3 yard
    
     Binding - ***
This will be determined by the corner options you choose. There will be some bias binding used for the tree skirt, but don't let that scare you. I've included a math lesson for determining the binding amount needed, but I'll also just tell you the amounts you need. I just want to show you how I did it so you can refer back to this if you ever need to figure your own binding amount.

Let's get started!

Cutting
Background Fabric - Cut 3 strips, 11" x WOF (width of fabric)
     Sub-cut these into the following:
          4 - 11" x 11" squares
          4 - 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" squares (set these aside)

Star Fabric #1 - cut 2 strips, 11" x WOF
     Sub-cut these into 4 - 11" x 11" squares

Star Fabric #2 - cut 2 strips, 11" x WOF
     Sub-cut these into 4 - 11" x 11" squares



Piecing the Blocks
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 4 - 11" background squares and 2 of the Star Fabric #2 - 11" squares.


With right sides together, match up one 11" background square with one Star Fabric #1 square.

Sew a seam, 1/4" from each side of the drawn line


Cut on the drawn line and press seams open. Repeat one time. You will have 4 of these half square triangles (HSTs)


Follow the same procedure and with right sides together, match up two 11" background squares with two Star Fabric #2 squares (not the ones with the diagonal line).

Sew a seam, 1/4" from each side of the drawn line. Cut on the drawn line and press seams open. You will have 4 of these HSTs.

And finally, with right sides together, match up the two remaining Star Fabric #1 and Star Fabric #2 squares.

Sew a seam, 1/4" from each side of the drawn line. Cut on the drawn line and press seams open. You will have 4 of these HSTs.

Trim each half square triangle to 10 1/2" (Yes, I know that you could have cut the squares 10 7/8" and not have to trim, but I am much more accurate this way.)


Tree Skirt/Table Topper Layout
Lay out the blocks according to the picture below


Sew the blocks together and press seams open, pinning as needed. (I usually only pin where I want to ensure that my points match up. See pictures below.) 


If you encounter some rippling when putting blocks together, you can often apply a little heat to help with that. The heat from the iron kind of makes the fabrics stick together, thus making pinning and sewing easier.

 

When you approach point intersections, be careful of where you sew in order to preserve your points. I am lining up the intersection as I approach it and make adjustments as needed.



I do pin when sewing rows together, and I like to add one horizontally at the end of the row to help avoid shifting while I'm sewing. Can you see the red pin along the right side?


I like to sew the top two rows together first and then the bottom two rows.



Then I sew the center seam. Notice how I've pinned these two units together to be sure the top remains square and accurate.




I do like to pin along the edges at the beginning of the seam as well, just to be sure that my rows line up correctly.


The top is complete!



I'm happy with the points!




Layer and Quilt

No matter if you are going to keep this a square tree skirt or table topper, layer and quilt as desired. (Yes, I quilt this before cutting the hole in the center or up a side for a tree skirt. It makes it much easier to quilt and prevents stretching.) I quilted radiating lines in the star points and a small meander in the background.



It's time to trim!

Trim as usual, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance from each of the star points.


After trimming, the project should measure approximately 40" square.


Trimming for the octagonal table topper or tree skirt will include additional steps. Those instructions and pictures are provided after the binding info.

Corner Options

To determine if you want to make a square tree skirt/table topper, or make it octagonal, fold the corners over to see which you like best. If you like the octagonal version; skip forward, past the binding information to see how to cut/trim the corners.






I'll provide the binding information for all the options, so don't let the fear of having to figure out the math influence your decision. ๐Ÿ˜€  I recommend bias binding for the tree skirt because of the hole in the center. As I said, I'll provide all that information and even show you the math in case you want to double check my figures.

To make a square table topper, you'll need 172" of binding fabric (40+40+40+40+12=172"). Depending on the usable amount of fabric you have, you will need 4 or 5 strips of binding fabric. There is nothing unusual here, so go ahead and bind as usual.

To make an octagonal table topper, you'll need 148" of binding fabric.
(20+14+20+14+20+14+20+14+12=148") 


You'll need 4 strips of binding fabric.
(148" divided by 40" = 3.7 strips, round up to 4)

See Binding Irregular Corners at the end of this tutorial for help with attaching this binding. 

To make this a square tree skirt, cut up the middle of one side and cut out a 4 3/4" hole from the center, following the instructions below.

I made a template for my center hole and used chalk to mark what needs cut. I've labelled my template (with terrible handwriting!) and made a small hole in the exact center so I can properly align it to the tree skirt to get an accurate center hole.



I always double check my chalk line before cutting! Half of 4 3/4" is 2 3/8" and I'm right on the mark. Yay!


To cut up a seam, I choose a seam to cut, line up my ruler and use a rotary cutter to cut up to the circle.



I then trim the circle with scissors.



Even though it's square, you'll need to make bias binding for this tree skirt. That will allow you to sew the binding around the circle and have it lay flat and not curl or cup upwards.

Here's the math to determine how much bias binding you need. (I make my bias binding from cutting a square and then cutting strips from that.)

Measure all sides, both sides of the cut up the middle, and the circumference of the center hole.
(Circumference of a 4 3/4" circle = 15" as determined by the following math formula: circumference = pi (3.14) x dia. (4.75) - 14.915", rounded up top 15") 


Based on the sketch above, here's the math worked out for you:

40"+40"+40"+20"+18"+15"+18"+20"=211"+12" (to account for diagonally piecing strips and turning corners) = 223" bias binding needed.

To determine the square size to cut: multiple the binding amount needed by 2 and find it's square root. Then add 3" for sewing strips, turning corners, etc.

     223"x2 = 446    
     Square root of 446 = 21.118 (round up to 22")
     22"+3"=25" square

If you're making the octagonal tree skirt, you'll need to trim the corners so you can determine the length of those sides. See below (after all the binding information), for an explanation and pictures on how to trim these.

Back to binding for the octagonal tree skirt: you'll need a total of 199" of bias binding (see sketch and math below - I rounded up to 200"), which means you'll need a 23" square.


Here's the math
     3 sides are 20" = 60"
     4 corners are 14" = 56"
     split bottom is 10" each = 20"
     split has 2 sides 18" each = 36"
     circumference of the hole = 15"

     60" + 56" + 20" + 36" + 15" = 187" + 12" = 199"
          (rounded to 200") bias binding needed

     200" x 2 = 400" which has a square root of 20"
          20" 3" = 23" square needed



That's enough math! Let's get back to the project.  ๐Ÿ˜Œ



Trimming the Corners
When trimming the corners to make the project octagonal, you want to be sure to leave a 1/4" seam allowance at the star points or you'll have chopped off points. In this first picture, you can see the chalk line I drew to show you what will be cut. Can you see the 1/4" seam allowance that is left at the star points?


Line up a ruler so that it extends 1/4" beyond both star points. This will help increase accuracy in cutting.




Make the cut across the corner. Do this to all four corners.


Here's the octagonal version of the tree skirt/table topper. Follow the cutting instructions provided earlier to make this a tree skirt. The center hole is the same size, and you'll cut up one seam as explained earlier. 

Now you're ready for binding!


Binding Irregular Corners
Binding irregular corners is not difficult. It's basically the same technique as regular binding, but the trick is in the folding of the corner.  

Starting on a long (20") side rather than a 14" corner, sew down binding, using a 1/4" seam allowance. (Remember that you trimmed the corners to 1/4" from the points, so this 1/4" seam allowance is important to keep nice sharp points.)

As you approach a corner, stop with the needle down and flip the binding strip up so that its raw edges create a straight and continuous line with the raw edge of the quilt. Crease at the fold. It is important that the raw wedges create a straight and continuous line.


Open the fold and mark it with chalk or some other marking utensil.


Sew up to the mark. Backstitch and remove the quilt from the sewing machine


Turn the quilt and fold the binding as you did before, creating a straight and continuous line with the edge of the quilt. 


Fold the binding strip down, aligning the raw edges as usual. This creates an odd angle at the fold, but that's ok. Sew down the raw edge as usual, and continue around the quilt, following the same procedure each time you come to a corner.


This is what the corner will look like from the front. 


Continue all around the quilt and finish the binding as usual.

You are done!



Thanks for visiting and please let me know if you need any help with making your own tree skirt or table topper.

If you make one (or three ๐Ÿ˜‰), I'd love to see a picture!


Remember to visit the hoppers each day and leave comments so you can be entered into the awesome giveaway.